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Old 01-23-2020, 02:47 PM   #101
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frochevy View Post
Man that sucks to hear about your engine issue. Everything else is looking awesome! I love your bus. Your green sheet metal over the windows inspired me to remove all of my windows and go there sheet metal route! Hope all goes well with the engine/trans rebuild! I plan getting a new trans this spring... $3400 for me for trans...
Glad the windows inspired you. I worried about it feeling dark, but it doesnít at all. I canít imagine leaving the stock windows in with condensation and not being able to spray foam. Removing them and skinning over was actually pretty easy. Make sure you use closed end rivets for the job. I took my top rivets out of my top rub rail and tucked the sheet metal into it then just riveted it back together for a clean look.

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Old 01-23-2020, 07:57 PM   #102
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Location: Wamego Ks
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Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Oh I agree... They are much more expensive to work on and maintain!!
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:34 PM   #103
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Location: Grayson County, VA
Posts: 1,237
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
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Glad the windows inspired you
Not to hijack the thread, but you inspired us too. We totally stole your brilliant tool box/back porch idea and use it to store firewood and chainsaw/axe/misc. cutting tools.

So
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File Type: jpg back porch.jpg (208.5 KB, 25 views)
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:18 PM   #104
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Looking good

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Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Not to hijack the thread, but you inspired us too. We totally stole your brilliant tool box/back porch idea and use it to store firewood and chainsaw/axe/misc. cutting tools.

So
That looks great. Iím glad I was able to contribute something to the forum. It really is a super simple and functional addition that we used everyday on our last trip. I like the ladder you have. I didnít put one because we mount our bikes back there though.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:44 AM   #105
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Year: 1996
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Engine: DT466
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Quote:
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That looks great. Iím glad I was able to contribute something to the forum. It really is a super simple and functional addition that we used everyday on our last trip. I like the ladder you have. I didnít put one because we mount our bikes back there though.
It was a one-day project, and such a simple solution to the problem of "how do we get from our back door to the roof top deck?"

We had to do a contortionist routine until the back porch came to be...now it's easy peasy.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:01 AM   #106
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
well the general miondset is diesels outlast gas engines.. and for sure in the "old days" where gas engines ran inefficiently and were often worked to their Maximum torque / HP just to keep a bus or big truck moving, they didnt get muich past 100k miles and they were shot..whereas 500k diesels can and do exist..


the big issue with every one of us except perhaps for a few, is that we dont know how our engines were cared for before we got them.. a select few are lucky enough to get a big folder with their bus that has all of its records.. nut thats the rarity and not the norm...



a bus that may have had fantastic care when it was new may go through management change at the school, or levy failure, or just being a "spare" that may not get near the care it should.. so said 500k engine is run on old oil, or overheated because the radiator or fan isnt maintained, or run with failing injecotrs because "the bus is going to auction next year"...



most engines give signs that they are in need of help, however school bus drivers, and private owners alike may not have a clue what to look for... ie high oil temp, excessive blowby,Black-stone-testing of the oil for contamination of fluids or metals...


heck its sometimes hard just to figure out the proper coolant and additives to put in an engine... esp for someomne who has never owned a diesel, let alone a commercial bus..



gas engines can obviously break too, however in general the gas engines in the ford and chevy Van-cutaway busses have a couple things going for them..


1. widely used in everything from pickups to Vans.. so aftermarket support of parts and even reman crate motors is high.. == competiton == lower prices..


2. community support - just like the diesels that are also pickup truck engines.. (5.9 cummins, T-444E (7.3)) there are parts everywhere as well as lots of info and support on the internet... the 5.3,5.7, and 6.0 GMC / chevy gas engines have a big following.. and competition for parts business.. makes things a lot mroe reasonable if you break one or need to replace it altogether
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:54 AM   #107
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Porch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
It was a one-day project, and such a simple solution to the problem of "how do we get from our back door to the roof top deck?"

We had to do a contortionist routine until the back porch came to be...now it's easy peasy.
Yeah I thought long and hard about it myself. It really does make a great table also. We have our propane hose with quick release ran into the back drivers side box. When we want a shower or to grill we just pull it out and snap it on. I put the same quick release on both the grill and shower. I also took the time to run 1 boat cigarette plug into each of my tool boxes that are ran into my DC fuse panel. This way we can plug in phones and speakers outside.

I also made a rope light using an LED DC light strip. I put it into clear tubing and put a cigarette adapter on the end. The thing is insanely bright and plugs right into the box on the back. When I put my shade sails up off the roof deck I just run the tube light along the rope.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:05 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
well the general miondset is diesels outlast gas engines.. and for sure in the "old days" where gas engines ran inefficiently and were often worked to their Maximum torque / HP just to keep a bus or big truck moving, they didnt get muich past 100k miles and they were shot..whereas 500k diesels can and do exist..


the big issue with every one of us except perhaps for a few, is that we dont know how our engines were cared for before we got them.. a select few are lucky enough to get a big folder with their bus that has all of its records.. nut thats the rarity and not the norm...



a bus that may have had fantastic care when it was new may go through management change at the school, or levy failure, or just being a "spare" that may not get near the care it should.. so said 500k engine is run on old oil, or overheated because the radiator or fan isnt maintained, or run with failing injecotrs because "the bus is going to auction next year"...



most engines give signs that they are in need of help, however school bus drivers, and private owners alike may not have a clue what to look for... ie high oil temp, excessive blowby,Black-stone-testing of the oil for contamination of fluids or metals...


heck its sometimes hard just to figure out the proper coolant and additives to put in an engine... esp for someomne who has never owned a diesel, let alone a commercial bus..



gas engines can obviously break too, however in general the gas engines in the ford and chevy Van-cutaway busses have a couple things going for them..


1. widely used in everything from pickups to Vans.. so aftermarket support of parts and even reman crate motors is high.. == competiton == lower prices..


2. community support - just like the diesels that are also pickup truck engines.. (5.9 cummins, T-444E (7.3)) there are parts everywhere as well as lots of info and support on the internet... the 5.3,5.7, and 6.0 GMC / chevy gas engines have a big following.. and competition for parts business.. makes things a lot mroe reasonable if you break one or need to replace it altogether
I agree about the lack of knowing who took care of it or how. I am a firefighter and just seeing how everyone takes care of the engines and trucks makes me realize itís a complete crap shoot. Most of our people will just drive 70mph on the freeway all day then just kill the motor without letting the turbos cool. And with all the new DEF stuff itís even worse.

I was very close to pulling the trigger on a 96 26 footer with A DT466 and manual transmission. But if or when that thing needed rebuilt I knew it would cost more than a new Chevy 350. I also factored in tune ups, cost of diesel, size, tire cost, injectors and other associated cost. For me it just made since to stay with a smaller cutaway. Again this is based on our desire to travel and stay in small parks as well as being in cities.

If I was wanting one to live in and just move periodically I would have gone with a bigger real bus Chasis.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #109
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
well a DT466 is a bit of a different story as is a CUmmins 8.3


Those engines can be rebuilt IN-FRAME.. they have sleeved cylinders.. you pull the head, drop the pan... replace all the bearings and pistons and the cylinder-sleeves without removiong the engine.. the only time you run into issues is if you throw a rod or spin a bearing so bad you ruin the crank or the journal..
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:08 PM   #110
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New motor and transmission

So got the bus back from the mechanics. Ended up costing more than I wanted of course because I went with both the jasper tranny and jasper motor. Now I have a 100,000 mile 3 year warranty on both. Cost $8000 total and included new radiator, hoses, belts, and lots of other little things. I know this is more than most buses cost so I wanted to share my thoughts and experience with everyone here.

I was initially very bummed of course but in hindsight itís not a deal breaker for us. I am currently $17,000 into the bus and have a very well built and now hopefully reliably machine to travel in for the next 3-5 years which is our goal. I know all systems on the bus and can work on them. Iím confident I could not find anything close to this for $17k especially as well built. So if it was going to happen Iím glad it happened now.

Our goal plans the next few winters will involve traveling 3-5 months a year in it so we should get our use. I took some videos of the bus which I will try and post here if not I will link them to YouTube if possible.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:10 PM   #111
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Video

Here is the video links there are 2 play the longer one first there is a slight overlap top one is the first one

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Old 03-09-2020, 09:11 PM   #112
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Second cideo

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Old 03-09-2020, 09:26 PM   #113
Skoolie
 
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Videos

Let me know what people think. I finished my last project on the bus today. Got the drivers seat and inside above the windshield upholstery done so itís finally complete. If anyone wants more info about anything else let me know. Only thing left this fall before we travel again is new black Baja style rims with new tires for piece of mind.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:16 PM   #114
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Join Date: May 2018
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Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
about your bus

well done.



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Old 03-10-2020, 01:00 AM   #115
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Bus

Thanks it truly was a fun, stressful, and taxing endeavor. But well worth it.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:55 PM   #116
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Insulation

Hey, I am in the east mountain area.
can I ask which company did you insulation?
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:34 PM   #117
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Year: 2007
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Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Your bus looks awesome! I really appreciate the video that shows everything! Good work!! Gives me more ideas and motivation to keep working on mine!!!
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:01 AM   #118
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Join Date: Feb 2020
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I saw that you have a couple of these buses. Do you know what kind of weight the roof can hold? Iím trying to figure out solar panels but Iím worried itíll be too much weight for the amount Iíll need.
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:49 AM   #119
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
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Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
The roof can support all the solar panels you can fit and more.

Thanks. Nice tour of your bus. I like youíre propane tank installation. And the big boat hatch. I put a boat hatch in my Isuzu. On my 96 Bluebird Microbird Iím going to do a pop top this Summer. Iím way too tall to fit in any bus without a roof raise. After that dirty job is done I can do nice woodworking like you have.
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